It still doesn't cover those times when you 'Ghost ride the whip.'
As the autonomous vehicle slowly begins peeling driver fingers off the wheel in favor of its silicon hands, auto insurance companies are starting to become afraid. It never sounds good on paper to say that people crashing and getting hurt or worse can make plenty of profit, but the fact that these accidents happen at all is exactly how auto insurance companies make any money. The data speaks for itself; in 90% of car accidents where human fatalities occur, humans have at least partial responsibility.
Even the slightest chance that these numbers can be reduced is all the motivation that software engineers need to churn out autonomous vehicles. Adaptation is key in any business, but it will become crucial to survival for the auto insurance industry when the first self-driving cars come out, which should happen around 2020. As a result, the UK based insurance company Adrian Flux has just unveiled a new policy that may be the first in the world to cover autonomous vehicles. It even goes as far as providing a guarantee if a policyholder’s autonomous vehicle is hacked and then crashed. The Guardian mentions that the policy will protect for loss or damage in case of, “failure to install vehicle software updates and security patches."
It gets even better with coverage for, "satellite failure or outages affecting navigation systems, or failure of the manufacturer’s vehicle operating system or other authorized software; loss or damage caused by a failure to manually override the system to prevent an accident should the system fail; and loss or damage if the car gets hacked.” Given that semi-autonomous technology already exists inside of cars like the Tesla Model S and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, this policy is relevant today and should put drivers at ease knowing that the insurance company won’t try to screw them over the fine print. Too bad it wouldn’t have helped the owner of the Model X who claimed that his car crashed on its own.